Last December I bought my first home. She is old. Built in 1914, needed a renovation job that took almost a year before it was ready for me to move into.
One of my favorite parts of the renovation process was the chance to make my home energy efficient. After tearing the lathe and plaster off the walls, it was apparent that my place would be very cold during the winter months as there was zero insulation in the walls! When the house was built almost a hundred years ago, some common types of insulation included horsehair and straw. My walls had nothing. Insulation definitely had to make an appearance. The house is now a cozy place to be, especially with some of the cold winter weather and the crazy winds Calgary can get.
The next step was to replace some of the single paned windows with double panes to keep the heat in and the cold out. I replaced five windows, but kept the originals in the front because they are way too cool to change. The new windows and the insulation allow me to keep the temperature on my furnace at a lower level!
Although the original furnace was in good shape, it still needed to go, as there was asbestos wrap around the ducts. It was a sight to see. The gravity flow furnace looked like an octopus created during the industrial revolution. My basement was a very scary place. I have since removed the old furnace and installed a high efficiency model and have saved myself money on heating bills.
Through a city-wide Water conservation campaign, I was able to buy my low flow toilet at a reduced rate and install it, and receive a rebate from the City.
Although all these improvements to my house have kept me incredibly busy, they have helped me save money and reduce my impact on the environment as I require less resources to keep my house warm, and conserve the amount of water I use.